Allergies in pets is a very important topic when it comes to caring for our furry friends. It's something that we need to be aware of and know how to prevent or treat. If your animal is showing signs of an allergy, our vet at Trinity Pet Hospital in Laguna Hills, CA, can conduct a thorough diagnosis to determine what exactly your pet is allergic to and provide suitable treatment.
What causes pet allergies?
There are several factors that contribute to the development of allergies. In dogs, allergens can include environmental substances such as pollens from grasses, trees, or weeds, molds, house-dust mites, and insect bites. Dogs can also be allergic to certain ingredients in their food, chemicals used in grooming products or flea/tick preventatives, and to drugs, including certain antibiotics.
What are the symptoms of pet allergies?
Allergy symptoms range from mild to severe and can include:
- Sneezing and wheezing
- Coughing or hacking
- Nasal congestion/runny nose (clear, thin fluid)
- Inflamed, itchy skin (this may be another sign of an infection caused by bacteria that colonizes the skin of a large percentage of dogs with allergies)
- Darkened skin from constant scratching
- Excessive licking or chewing at the skin, sometimes to the point of making hairless patches that can become infected
- Face rubbing
- Ear scratching
- Red, watery eyes
How can pet allergies be prevented?
If you have identified a specific allergen causing your dog's allergies, then avoiding that allergen is the best possible treatment. This requires a detailed understanding of your dog's specific allergies and a willingness to avoid any substance or product to which he may be exposed. This can include outdoor substances such as pollens, molds, and fungi, indoor air materials such as house dust mites, animal dander, the protein in pet food, chemicals used in grooming products, or flea/tick preventatives.
If you are unsure of the specific allergens causing your pet trouble, our veterinarian can help prescribe medications to control allergy symptoms once the specific cause is identified using skin testing, blood tests, and other tests.
Are there medications that can help treat pet allergies?
There are two main types of medications for the treatment of allergies in pets: antihistamines and corticosteroids. Antihistamine medications work by blocking the effects of histamine, a chemical released from cells involved in an allergic reaction. Histamines cause blood vessels to widen and release fluid into surrounding tissues, resulting in nasal congestion, itchy skin, coughing, and sneezing. Antihistamines treat symptoms by blocking the action of histamine on blood vessels, reducing nasal congestion and itching.
Corticosteroids reduce inflammation in tissues throughout the body. They reduce these symptoms by blocking the production of prostaglandins and other chemicals that cause inflammation and swelling. By reducing the effects on blood vessels and tissues, these drugs improve allergy signs such as itching, redness, and swelling.
Visit Trinity Pet Hospital in Laguna Hills, CA, for Pet Allergy Diagnosis and Treatment
The longer you allow an allergy to linger, the more uncomfortable your pet will become. Some allergies can even be fatal. Bring your furry friend to us at Trinity Pet Hospital Laguna Hills, CA, and let us provide the right treatment. By knowing what's affecting your pet, you can understand how to avoid it. Call (949) 768-1314 to book an appointment with our vet.